Isolation Barrier Valves Installed Successfully in Deepwater Gulf of Guinea
- Chris Carpenter (JPT Technology Editor)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- May 2019
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 53 - 54
- 2018. Offshore Technology Conference
- 1 in the last 30 days
- 49 since 2007
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This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper OTC 28453, “Egina Deepwater Development: Isolation-Barrier-Valve Case Study,” by G. Forrest, C. Morand, K. Johnson, and V. Okengwu, Halliburton, and V. Chaloupka, SPE, Total, prepared for the 2018 Offshore Technology Conference Asia, Kuala Lumpur, 20–23 March. The paper has not been peer reviewed. Copyright 2018 Offshore Technology Conference. Reproduced by permission.
A major operator manages multiple deepwater projects in the Gulf of Guinea. This paper describes one of these, a recent 44-well project. The operator required an ISO 28781-qualified bidirectional subsurface isolation barrier valve (IBV) to be installed in each well. This paper presents the results of the IBV deployment in the field.
The Egina field was discovered in 2003 in Oil Mining Lease 130 located in deep water (1150–1750 m) approximately 200 km offshore Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
Subsurface IBVs have become commonplace in lower-sandface-completion installations. The potential time and operational cost savings are well understood. However, industry concerns remain regarding the ability of these devices to operate reliably in demanding wellbore conditions.
The primary challenges for this project were
- Deviated wells with horizontal drains, high dogleg severity, and azimuth changes
- Isolation of different reservoirs along each drain
- Running the upper completion in sieved nonaqueous-based mud (NABM)
Well-Control Philosophy and Barrier Requirements
General philosophies and requirements for well control—including the overall principles for well barriers, kill methods, and project-specific needs—require the following with respect to barriers:
- Can be pressure-tested
- Location and status can be known at all times
- Can be re-established in a short period of time
- Can operate in the environment despite challenges related to pressures, temperatures, and fluids
The integrity of a barrier can be verified by pressure-testing to working pressure in the direction of flow when possible. These tests can also be run in the reverse direction. After completion and tree installation, tests are conducted using available well pressure.
IBV Design Update. The IBV design in question (Fig. 1) was first run in west Africa in 2008 as a result of an extensive qualification and testing program aimed at improving upon its predecessor. The new IBV improved debris tolerance to meet ISO 28781 regulatory requirements. Enhancements also included increased differential opening pressure, simplified operating and workshop-testing procedures, removal of the transit pin, and increased opening force.
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